Jury convicts suspended Georgia insurance commissioner of fraud in scheme against insurer he managed

ATLANTA (AP) — A jury has convicted Georgia’s suspended insurance commissioner of all 37 counts of fraud and money laundering against him at his trial.

Jurors returned the guilty verdicts Thursday afternoon against Jim Beck.

He was convicted of charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and tax fraud.

He had been indicted months after taking office in 2019.

Prosecutors presented evidence that Beck orchestrated a scheme to embezzle more than $2 million from the Georgia Underwriting Association.

Beck had managed the state-chartered private insurer of last resort for years before he took office.

In closing arguments Thursday, prosecutors argued Beck is nothing but a “fraudster.”

But defense attorneys argued that the private insurer’s profitability during Beck’s tenure proved he had no intent to harm the organization.

3 testified Beck directed money flows from insurer

During the federal trial, two former friends of Beck are testified that he directed them to bill an insurer for large sums.

Sonya and Steve McKaig told jurors that Beck sent them bills for Green Technology Services.

The McKaigs included the sums in their bills to the Georgia Underwriting Association, which Beck managed.

Matthew Barfield says he created invoices for Green Technology but did no other work, taking 10% and handing the rest of the money to Beck.

The Republican was elected insurance and safety fire commissioner in 2018 and then indicted in May 2019, months after taking office.

Categories: Georgia News

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